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Police group withdraws endorsement of GOP state candidate over fundraiser attacks on Parkland students

Police group withdraws endorsement of GOP state candidate over fundraiser attacks on Parkland students

New York's Fraternal Order of Police on Wednesday said it will no longer support a Republican candidate for state Senate after a fundraiser for her campaign attacked student survivors of a recent school shooting.

"The New York State Fraternal Order of Police will never support a candidate or campaign that condones the attack on child survivors of a school shooting," the union said in a statement withdrawing its support of Julie Killian on Wednesday.

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Killian has distanced herself from Denise Ward, who last week hosted a campaign fundraiser event for the Killian campaign.

Ward last month used Twitter to criticize David Hogg and Emma González, two of the most vocal student gun control activists who survived the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

"Every time that idiotic Hogg person speaks I am compelled to do the opposite of whatever he's advocating, because it's so clear that he's nothing more than a tool & a drone," Ward reportedly wrote in a tweet on her private account, as reported by multiple media outlets.

Ward also retweeted a conspiracy theory that González and a group of classmates had bullied Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old accused of killing 17 students and faculty at the high school, according to the New York Daily News.

Killian said she is "vehemently opposed to the notions tweeted about by Denise Ward" and announced her campaign would return the funds raised by the event that Ward hosted. 

"Since Parkland, I've continually praised the bravery of the students who are speaking out about this issue. I immediately condemned the attacks on the Parkland students & made it clear those statements were reprehensible; I also returned any money raised by that contributor," Killian added on Wednesday.

Killian will take on Democrat Shelley Mayer in a special election for Westchester County's state Senate seat in a race that observers see as influential in determining control of the state Senate.